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Member Spotlight

January 5, 2021

Celebrating 20 Years: University of San Diego

Catching up with University of San Diego on their membership anniversary.

In the world of life science, connection is the key to discovery. Biocom is proud to highlight organizations on their membership anniversaries who have joined in our mission to create a more connected, more collaborative industry in California. Their stories are our story, and we look forward to many more years of shaping the future of life science together to change the world for the better.

Please briefly describe your company, its mission, and your role.

The University of San Diego is a Roman Catholic institution committed to advancing academic excellence, expanding liberal and professional knowledge, creating a diverse and inclusive community and preparing leaders who are dedicated to ethical conduct and compassionate service. USD is proud to be the youngest private institution among U.S. News & World Report’s top-100 universities in the country and strives to set the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges.

Tell us your favorite way of getting involved with Biocom.rn

The University of San Diego has been proud to connect with Biocom in many different ways over the course of the last two decades. Stephen C. Ferruolo, a professor who served as the dean of our School of Law from 2011 to 2020, was vice president and general counsel of BIOCOM, as well as its vice chairman. In 2006, Biocom awarded him with the William W. Otterson Service Award for outstanding support of the life sciences industry in San Diego.

School of Law Professor Dov Fox, USD’s Herzog Endowed Scholar and director of the law school’s Center for Health Law Policy and Bioethics, was named a Biocom Life Science Catalyst for his “significant contributions to human health through research, discovery, and entrepreneurship.”

Biocom leaders serve on the advisory board for the Center for Health Law Policy and Bioethics and also helped inspire a partnership between USD’s School of Law and the College of Sciences at SDSU to create an innovative new six-course joint Advanced Certificate in Intellectual Property and Regulatory Affairs program — the only one of its kind in the United States — designed for life science professionals who have no formal legal training, but whose research, work responsibilities or ambition requires knowledge of regulatory affairs and intellectual property law.

In addition, Biocom has also served as a sponsor for the annual Supply Chain Management Fall Forum in USD’s School of Business. The university is grateful for these many connections.

Tell us about your team’s culture, what makes your team different or unique?

At the University of San Diego, Toreros are called to combine their passions, their God-given talents and their innovative or entrepreneurial spirit with their desire to help those who are most vulnerable or their quest to confront humanity’s urgent challenges. Those who are bold enough to live their lives where all those things converge are true Changemakers.

Changemakers take what they’ve learned in the classroom or out in the field and use it to solve a problem or make a difference. They have the confidence to try something different, to stretch outside of their comfort zone. And they aren’t afraid of failing.

The University of San Diego is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States and was the first on the West Coast —to be designated by Ashoka U as a Changemaker Campus. At USD, Changemakers don’t wait until after they graduate to make a positive impact in the world. They do it now.

At USD, classroom learning is connected to social justice and social change. More than 500 courses include a service component. More than 8,000 students participate in service-learning projects annually. And, each year, the faculty, staff and students contribute more than 400,000 public service hours globally.

Our campus is intentionally organized to help students distill their passions and ideas, conduct research, effectively scale programs for the greatest impact, write business plans and turn their concepts into actionable solutions. It starts in the classroom, where social change learning objectives are embedded into the curriculum, effectively extending the classroom beyond the four walls of the university.

The Changemaker designation and philosophy also strongly align with the University of San Diego’s Catholic identity and teachings on social justice. The practice of Changemaking and USD’s Catholic intellectual tradition both reflect a deep conviction to developing ethical, capable and compassionate graduates committed to the common good. Toreros across every field of study and in every corner of the world are conceiving ideas and launching solutions that improve the human condition.

How have you seen your industry change during the decade-plus your company has been a Biocom member?

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges.

This is the University of San Diego’s vision statement. It isn’t a catchy tagline or a lofty goal. It’s our true north and it informs the decisions we make and the paths that we take. It’s what we do. It’s who we are. We are Changemakers. We are innovators. We are confronting urgent challenges that face all of humanity.

At USD, we have always sparked the entrepreneurial spirit over the last decade that spirit of innovation has grown and flourished. No matter what they’re learning, USD’s entrepreneurs and innovators look at everything through the lens of a Changemaker. At every stage, student entrepreneurs who are wondering how best to pursue their vision, hone their concept, create their product, secure their funding, or launch their business — will find everything they need at USD.

Where do you see your company or industry going in the next decade? What excites you about the future?

The decisions made at the University of San Diego are based on a bold, strategic plan, known as Envisioning 2024, looks forward to USD’s 75th Anniversary. It charts a course that builds upon our successes in recent years as we aspire to set the standard for a contemporary Catholic university confronting humanity’s urgent challenges.

The most fundamental element of our Envisioning 2024 strategic plan, of course, is student success. This means helping our students to graduate with a global perspective as compassionate citizens and ethical leaders. It means connecting them with opportunities in their respective fields of interest as they begin or advance their careers. It also means providing our faculty with the tools and resources they need to empower and equip our students to live fulfilling lives and become responsible, global citizens.

During this time, we are advancing our global initiatives, while simultaneously strengthening our position an anchor institution for our local community. We are accelerating access to our campus for prospective Toreros from around the world. As a contemporary Catholic university located near an international border, we have an opportunity to confront humanity’s urgent challenges, ranging from immigration and the environment, to the growth of the bio-tech sector and other industries that extend beyond the border.

Envisioning 2024 calls for us to provide greater access to prospective students from underserved populations in our own backyard and to fully embrace the diversity of humanity on our campus. We have a Culture of Care at USD that calls upon us to be good stewards of God’s creation. We are elevating our engagement across our campus and into our San Diego communities and communities around the world.

Envisioning 2024 is ambitious. It promises a lot. But it also asks something of all of us. We are blessed with a stellar faculty, remarkable students, highly successful alumni and a dedicated team of administrators and staff who do great work to advance our mission. Together, we’re making sure the world knows about the great work we do here.